The History Of Zagnut Bars

in Candy Blog

Have you ever tried a Zagnut Bar?

If you haven’t, allow us to describe it to you…

Imagine the filling of a Butterfinger—you know, the crispy, flaky layers of peanut butter stacked on top of one another forming a hard and dense shell of creamy goodness?

Now picture a Mounds bar filled with loads of soft, rich, and sweet coconut. Take that, along with a few simple drops of sweet honeycomb, toss some toasted coconut on top and you have yourself a Zagnut Bar—one of the most iconic candy bars produced by D.L. Clark Co.

While we could sit here and brag about how great Zagnut bars are, you’re probably wondering about where it came from and why it’s so good, so we went ahead and jumped into the history of Zagnut bars and found 5 facts that you probably didn’t know about them.

Check it out!

5 Facts About Zagnut Bars Every Candy Lover Should Know!

1. Zagnut was created in 1930 by D.L. Clark Company with the goal of making a peanut butter candy bar that had no chocolate.

During the early 1930s, most candy bars had some form of chocolate in them. Whether it was a Hershey’s Chocolate Bar, 3 Musketeers, or DL Clark’s own Clark Bar, almost every candy bar you could find had chocolate in the ingredients. While that was by far the most popular ingredient for confections, Mr. Clark and his team of confectioners wanted to evolve their company into a creator of all kinds of candy.

They knew that people loved peanut butter and coconut, but why had nobody put them together before? It took some serious confectionery creativity but they finally found the perfect combination with a peanut butter bar that was covered in honeycomb and topped with toasted coconut.

This was unlike any candy bar that Clark had made before and candy lovers were hooked on this new sweet treat that was a blend between Butterfinger, Mounds, and the iconic Clark Bar.

2. The name Zagnut comes from the play on the ingredients of peanut butter and coconut.

The early era of candy bars comes with some pretty unique names. From 5th Avenue to PayDay, Good News to Sugar Daddy and Sugar Babies, the naming conventions for most candy bars were based on cultural references or strictly chosen to captivate the eyes of young consumers looking for something different.

The latter is how Zagnut got its name. It’s simple, straightforward, and has just enough flair to catch the attention of consumers and get them questioning, “what does a Zagnut taste like?” Combine that with a bright red wrapper and neon yellow lettering, and you have yourself a candy bar that will stick out on any store shelf or checkout spot.

3. Zagnut has only made one flavor ever.

Unlike most candy bars in existence, Zagnut has never made any other flavor of their infamous candy bar. As Clark continued to produce different candy bars, like the Clark Bar, Fudge Bar, Honest Square, Nutcracker, and Peanut Blossom Kisses, they held true to the original recipe of the Zagnut, knowing that customers loved the original.

Speaking of that original flavor, check out this review of the original Zagnut recipe from Lucky Penny Shop right here.

4. Zagnut was used as a ration for U.S. soldiers fighting in WWI and WWII.

When David Clark first started his candy company back in 1886, he never thought that he would be one of the largest vendors for the U.S. Military. It all started with WWI as troops were being deployed abroad, they needed additional rations that would provide a quick boost of energy and increase morale.

The first product to do this was the original Clark Bar. Before this, DL Clark was known for their chocolate drops which could not handle the heat of battle and would melt in soldiers' bags.

So Clark took it upon himself to develop a completely new chocolate bar that could withstand the heat, while also delivering some much-needed energy. This candy invention would prove to be one of the largest full-scale candy productions hired by the U.S. government. Even in 1942-1943 when Clark shut down production, the government stepped in deeming it an “essential” wartime product.

A little over a decade after WWI, the Zagnut Bar hit store shelves in the United States and quickly rose in popularity amongst everyday consumers.

When WWII rolled around, and even the Clark Bar began to melt during soldier transportation, the Zagnut bar became an essential pack for the U.S. military. Between the high fat, high protein ingredients, along with its resistance to melting, it was the perfect candy bar for soldiers to consume while out in the field. 

5. Zagnut was sold to Hershey's in 1996 and continues to be produced by them today.

If you didn’t know, the D.L. Clark Company  has a history of changing ownership, which you can read all about right here.

As part of the Clark family, Zagnut has naturally shifted ownership, first being bought by Leaf Brands, a candy company based out of Illinois in 1995. Not even a year later, Hershey’s stepped in and bought out Leaf Brands and with it, the rights to the Zagnut bar. To this day, Hershey’s continues to produce the Zagnut Bar, and has never changed the ingredients or original logo from 1930. 

What are you waiting for?

If your taste buds aren’t tingling for a Zagnut after reading all of that, you might want to head over to our digital aisles and grab yourself a few for taste testing.

I am 81 years old I enjoyed the candy bar as. A kid found my local gas station in Abingdon Va again I got 3 boxes for Christmas ran out and ordered 2 boxes today April 12th 2024 the best candy bar on the market please don’t change the ingredients Ps I would like to enjoy until I am 100 yrs old zag nut is the best.

Ken Holmes

Where can I find them?
All time favorite!

Michele Wolff

Why are zagnuts in so few stores? I can only find them at Dollar general, here in Avon in.


The best candy bar ever made!! Just very hard to find.


Best of the best then Clark bars and butterfingers

Terry Simpson

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